The new Denon S302 home theatre is one of the best value for money home theatre kits that we have ever seen. It is not only packed with the best in both vision, sound and networking technology, it is compact and very easy to install.
During the 4 years that I have been publishing SmartHouse I have seen both flat panel display and home theatre kits evolve, however both technologies have failed to evolve in a way that they take advantage and communicate with core PC technology that was in existence prior to their invention.
In the past HiFi manufacturers have concentrated on what past through your ears; TV manufacturers on what you saw.
Now both the HiFi and Vision manufacturers have realised that they have to deliver technology that feeds both what we see and hear to be successful.
However, Denon a traditional HiFi manufacturer which has been around for close on 100 years have gone one step further and delivered a very simple home theatre kit that is stunning in both design and functionality but more importantly it is designed to communicate with technology specified by the DLNA.
As an example of how good this home theatre is from both a value and performance perspective one only has to compare it with the brand new Bose V30 home theatre systems. The Denon system is $2,990. It has iPod connectivity, Ethernet and Wireless and is DLNA certified.
The Bose system has none of these key features and it is $2,000 more expensive than the new Denon system. In fact I believe the new Bose system not worth more than $1,500 when one compares it with similar systems from Sony, Samsung or LG.
The new Denon S 302 reproduces high quality sound and caters for a multiple of sources using IP networking technology and wireless. It has an iPod docking capability as well as the ability to run a movie from a USB or over a wireless network.
Optional is an iPod docking station which has built in wireless or if you don’t want to buy the $399 iPod docking station one can simply connect an iPod direct into the Denon system.
The new S 302 is a fully integrated, reference entertainment system with Scaling DVD-Video/CD Player, HDMI output with selectable scale (480p, 720p, 1080i and 1080p). Wi-Fi 802.11b/g Certified, DLNA certified, dedicated iPod input with onscreen display 50 watts per channel for Satellites and 100 watts for the subwoofer. RS232c ports.
Out of the box one is initially sceptical of this system due to the fact that it only has two speakers. However this concern was more than eliminated when we loaded a THX demo disc and played several movie tracks. It was as if one had 5.1 channel sounds.
Also out of the box this home theatre kit was extremely easy to install due to a very simple and efficient colour coding system for both speakers and the system.
To set this up for a traditional Australian home I within 10 minutes had connected a HDMI cable between the TV and the Denon system. I then linked it to a Beyonwiz PVR, on the 1st auxiliary channel. I then connected a Foxtel IQ system to the second auxiliary channel. I also connected a Sony PS3 to the system so that I could play Blu-ray discs. Also connected to the system was an iPod control dock.
I then opened up the set up menu by simply pressing home on the remote. I set the HDMI setting and the iPod setting to recognize the iPod dock. I then scrolled down to the Network setting and it immediately recognized my Linksys 802.11g router that was sitting on my PC network.
15 minutes later I had brilliant sound from all my source devices. The only problem I had was with the AM/FM tuner. I could not despite reading the manual several times get it to store or find automatically the stations I wanted despite their being 60 preset positions.